At the Education Committee I welcomed progress on the replacement of Harris Academy. I am looking forward to work starting before too long on this important project. I note that there are still some issues to be ironed out with the Scottish Futures Trust about funding. But I hope that this project will provide jobs for many local people. Most importantly I hope that this will provide an excellent school for young people in the West End and beyond.
I sought and received some assurance that organisations which currently use Harris Academy for community activities will be accommodated elsewhere. I was pleased to hear from the Director of Education that this was being done.
I also asked about the economic impact of Harris Academy being located at Rockwell for the next three years. I have concerns about the future of the Perth Road shopping area. I asked the Chief Executive whether he would ensure that the City Development Department will look to support the Perth Road shops and possibly work with the Perth Road traders association which is being formed. The Chief Executive told me that he thought that the pupils and staff at Harris will be replaced by construction staff and that this will not have a severe impact on the shops in the area. I hope that he is correct but I will be keeping a close eye on this issue.
At the Environment Committee I welcomed the report on promoting bowling in the city. I think that the council provides some very good facilities for bowling I do have some concerns that the council needs to improve the locker rooms that go along with council bowling greens to make them more attractive. I also said that I felt that we should not just assume that bowling is for older people and I wondered why Leisure & Culture Dundee's Sports Development Section or the Active Schools section of the Education Department didn't promote bowling.
I was pleased to see that Dundee City Council had reacted to pressure from Labour in Dundee and was going to bring forward plans to improve tennis facilities in Dundee. We should be doing all that we can to ensure that if the next Andy Murray is from Dundee that we are doing all we can to assist him or her to achieve their potential in sport.
At the Policy and Resources Committee I spoke on a couple of items. Firstly on the Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 - Dundee's Pre Games, Games Delivery and Legacy Plans. I think that this is an important report and celebrating the Commonwealth Games being in Scotland is to be welcomed.
The reaction to the torch relay for last year’s Olympics demonstrated that the people of Dundee were enthusiastic about sport and these important national events.
I am sure that the Queen’s Baton Relay event will be popular in the city. I also welcome the Support a Second Team initiative. Dundee has strong links with South Africa with Nelson Mandela being a Freeman of the City. I am sure that we will develop better links with South Africa and also with Belize.
It is also excellent that Dundee will be a host city, I hope that we make a real effort to promote our city as a result of this.
On the report on the use of the Common Good Fund I was pleased to speak in support of how the money will be spent, I was also pleased to hear that the council will be looking for other ways to support the Foodbank.
I welcome the proposals here for the Common Good Fund. The Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial is an initiative which I support and which I hope to see come to fruition before too long, the work at Verdant Works is important in maintaining the heritage of our city, the Tayforth Veterans Project is also important working with veterans and ensuring that their contribution to society is recognised and that they receive the support they deserve..
I want to highlight the work of Discovery Credit Union. In these difficult financial times we should be supporting an ethical financial institution like the credit union. We have previously highlighted our concerns about pay day loans and I want us to go some way to creating a level playing field for the credit union. I am pleased that they will be promoting the Credit Union through the common good funds.
I am a long-term supporter of the work of the One World Centre and I welcome the assistance that they are getting here. In light of the report on the Commonwealth Games there is scope for work from the One World Centre to build better links with South Africa and Belize.